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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

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The Australian Coastal Zone and Global Change: Research Needs

Australian Academy of Science, Becker House, Canberra. Friday 16 December 1994

Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) - continued

He came up with five separate modules: one for climate; one for monitoring an assessment of marine and living resources; the third one is the one that is of relevance to this discussion today and that is monitoring of the coastal zone environment and its changes; there is another on assessment and prediction of the health of the ocean; and a fifth one, which has never really been defined very well, which is to do with marine met services and ocean operational services.

The elements that would be needed in the observing system to address those modules would include a measurement system - which I will talk a little bit about - information management, data analysis, preparation and dissemination of data products, modelling, and also programs and technical assistance, training and technology transfer.

The Blue Ribbon Panel that I mentioned before, and I think in particular John Woods, came up with the following diagram several years ago. It does not conform strictly to the bible of IOC and GOOS, but I think it captures some things which are quite important.

OH 5: science and technology diagram

Overhead 5

One is that it includes programs like LOICZ on it and it also emphasises the connectivity between the Global Ocean Observing System and research programs. They emphasise here that the design, development and evaluation is really going to be the focus of the research programs, and GOOS will only evolve and grow and be successful if that component is included in the total picture. This picture also includes what they call the 'beneficiary modules'. These are all the users that are actually going to pay for a Global Ocean Observing System. It is critical that those people are factored into both the design and the continual operation of the program.

The following are some key words I think which we should all remember when we start thinking about GOOS, and certainly these are the things that always come to mind when I have to discuss GOOS with various people.

OH 6: key words

Overhead 6

On the left are the words which we think of as characterising the observing system. As you go through these you might like to think of the counterparts in a research system. You will find that this classification is really what distinguishes a Global Ocean Observing System from a research program; the measurement networks have to be routine; systematic; they have to be long term - this is something which is very difficult for governments to grapple with, that is funding observing systems for time periods longer than three years; it has to be relevant to the user groups, those beneficiaries in our modules; and it has to be cost-effective. On the right-hand side are the key words associated with the products. The observing system is to do monitoring and to help in detection, both issues that are associated with the IPCC. It is there for description, for understanding and, perhaps the one that attracts the most attention, it is also there for prediction.

Within Australia about three years ago, we started thinking about how Australia might become involved in this program.